Modern Foreign Languages

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language that goes to his heart.

Nelson Mandela

MFL – Our Aim for Learning

Learning a foreign language is more than just a boost to your CV or handy for travelling – it is an asset for life. If you speak one or more languages, research shows that your brain is more flexible and efficient than that of someone who only speaks their mother tongue.

Why is learning a foreign language so important?

  • Languages count towards your EBACC subjects and entry into select universities in the UK.
  • French is spoken officially in more than 30 countries worldwide.
  • Studying a language will provide you with a wider range of career opportunities in various fields: translating and interpreting, media and fashion, teaching, work in the travel and tourism industry, politician, lawyer, banking, and many more

Subject Overview

All pupils learn French from Year 7 up to GCSE in set-ability groups.

We aim for our students to begin working towards their GCSE skills from Year 7 onwards. They develop their extended writing and speaking skills and work on all GCSE topics at a foundation level to prepare them to begin the GCSE course in Year 10.

The department uses the Pearson Dynamo and studio digital course with Edexcel exam specifications through KS3, KS4 and KS5.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum Plan

Year 7

  • All about me and my family
  • School and free time
  • Home and away; house; home life and holidays; Tour de France

Year 8

  • Multi-media; the past tense; and a virtual visit to Paris
  • Teenage life; relationships with friends; music and fashion; festivals and going out
  • Home and town; food and eating habits; talents and ambitions

Year 9

  • Technology and internet; social life and healthy eating; lifestyles; arranging to go out; sport; fitness
  • Jobs and the importance of languages in the world of work
  • Discussing and planning holidays; the world around us; human rights issues

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Plan

GCSE Specification Overview:
The new specification provides breadth, stretch and challenge and enables students to show what they know, understand, and can do through tests covering the whole ability range.

Five Main Themes:

  • Identity and culture (Y10: Jour ordinaires, jours de fête; Qui suis-je?
    Le temps de loisirs)
  • Local area, holiday, travel (Y10 and Y11: De la ville à la campagne, et Le grand large… )
  • School (Y11: Au collège)
  • Future aspirations, study and work (Y11: Bon travail!)
  • International and global dimension (Y11: Un œil sur le monde)

Assessment

Students learning French in class

All examination questions will be set in the context of the following five topic areas:

  • Paper 1: listening exam (25%)
  • Paper 2: speaking exam (25%) role play, response to picture stimulus and conversation
  • Paper 3: reading and understanding exam (25%) texts in French with answers in French plus translation tasks
  • Paper 4: writing exam (25%) creative, spontaneous response plus translation tasks.

Spiritual, Moral, Social or Cultural Opportunities

Across Years 7 to 13, the French syllabus tries in many ways to develop awareness of how people should have freedom to practice religious beliefs, to promote tolerance and acceptance for all religions, and people in Britain who contribute to the British culture.

It also enables students to explore different views and have access to a completely new world learning about: music, cultural history, friendship and healthy relationships, internet safety and cyberbullying, health and wellbeing, education, work-related learning, British culture, world cultures, immigration, racism, etc. people you would never have met.

Most Able Opportunities/Support

The top set in French are stretched from Year 7, using academically the higher edition of Studio text books and supplementary teacher resources. By the time they reach GCSE the majority of the students in set 1, and often set 2 are taught beyond the requirements of the GCSE syllabus both in grammar and vocabulary.

Set 1 students follow the higher course and assessment that stretches their ability further using knowledge/skills in different contexts, strategies that promote creativity and models to embed thinking skills.

Special Educational Needs and Disability Opportunities/Support

  • High-quality teaching
  • Differentiated work and assessment
  • Personalized worksheet if needed
  • Seating plan to suit needs and abilities
  • Exam Access Arrangements with extra time for KS4 and KS5
  • Additional intervention and support with TA

Staff List

  • Amina Harris-Urwin (Head of Department)
  • Charlotte Taras
  • Isaac Ward

Useful Revision Website Links: